A while ago my girlfriend and I decided to move in together, and after a few conversations, she and her sister will be moving into my 2 bedroom apartment in four weeks.
I love the idea and I am looking forward to it.
But like anything important in life, at moments there will be a struggle. My first major moment of struggle came today.
We have both been in our places for many years and one accumulates tons of STUFF when one lives in a place for a long time. Fitting everything in the apartment would be impossible of course, so we need to give up some of it. In my case more than half of my stuff will probably be gone.
Honestly, I am more than happy to get rid of most of my stuff. But today I had a moment of anxiety when I felt that everything was gonna be gone.
Every important decision in life requires changes and sacrifices. If it doesn’t feel that way what You are doing is not important enough.
Today I watch the film 12 Years a Slave. The movie is outstanding!
It’s a true story based on a memoir, written by Solomon Northup, a free black man in the early 1800′s from New York, who gets kidnaped and traded as a slave in the south.
It was graphic and at some points difficult to watch.
I’ve heard and read many stories about slavery before. But I am not sure if I have ever heard of a personal account so explicit and raw.
I am grateful to live in the society that I live in. We have some problems, true. We can do better, sure. But all in all, we live in a country where everyone is free to exist, to do what we want, to fail, to succeed, to just be average, on our own accord.
I learned today, that no matter how crappy it might feel sometimes, we come from a very dark and terrible past, and we should be grateful for what we have, and we should work together to keep making it better, by accepting our diversity and understanding our differences, always with respect, equality and justice, because we are really not that different from each other.
The lesson of the day: if we stop doing something regularly, it will take a while pick it back up.
We know that intuitively, but it is very different to know something or to think we know something, than to actually go through it and truly learn it.
A little over a year ago I used to do yoga at least three times a week, my body was changing and the asanas that seem very difficult at first became easier as time went by. I was becoming a Yogi! Not really.
I stopped doing yoga for a while, and honestly, I don’t remember the exact reason why. This last week I decided to start going again. It will probably come back in no time. Right? Nop. Wrong.
Of course I did an easy class at first, and I did another easy class the second time. The second one was a little harder than I expected, and I have to say it kicked my ass. I am at the bottom of curve. Again.
As I reflected on this at the end of the class in the awesome quite time that one has in corpse pose, I realized that the same was true not just in yoga but in other things I had left on the side: when I stop meditating daily for a while I have a very hard time getting back to it; when I stop editing video for a while, the same is true; if I stop writing for a few days it is almost impossible to put ideas together in words.
So practice doesn’t necessarily make You a master but it certainly keeps You from feeling like a beginner.
Today I realized that I am constantly falling in love. Now it is not the couples love (I already have that love and it’s by far the most intense and awesome love of them all), it’s the love you feel for life!
I fall in love with the old lady in the train, with the beggar that told the awesome joke, I fall in love with New York, the city that has given me the many opportunities to become who I am today.
I fall in love with the pretty girl walking down the street, and with the dude that chases her.
I fall in love with the snow that is still on the ground from the last precipitation.
I fall in love with my meditation and my Dharma classes.
I fall in love with the many friends that make me smile and laugh everyday with awesome and ofter times silly jokes and comments.
I just keep falling in love with life. And for that I am grateful, and I can’t wait to fall in love again tomorrow!
On January 1st I took over the task to follow up with every day and check what lesson had I learned today.
They say you can form a habit in 21 days, or 28 days. Today it’s 28 days of looking at my day at the end or the next morning and look for the lesson of the day. And still I have to say, the habit has not been formed. I still struggle through finding the time to write.
The habit that is there, though, is the habit of looking at the day, and looking for the lesson, even if finding the time to write it down has proved more challenging.
So this little new rule that I have for this year, to look at every day of the year to look for the lesson of that day, has payed off where it is the most important: to create a mind that is open to learning. And that is beautiful. I feel sometimes we just forget that learning and stretching ourselves is how we are going to become the best version of ourselves.
Now, to take the habit building to the next level, I’d like to share with you a TED talk I just saw, about doing something new for 30 days, and I am really looking forward to see what that something new I will start to do in February.
What would you like to do for the next 30 days?
Somedays, at the end of the day, I feel like everything just happened, that everything moves forward. It’s pretty awesome!
Not all days are like that, and I have to learn to live with that. It’s not easy for me, because I have a little bit of an obsession with productivity, with the feeling that things got done. But sometimes, they just don’t.
Today was one of those days. I felt paralyzed. Now, I also know that this is my own perception of the day, because if I look at a list of things I did today, it becomes obvious things got done, but they where not the things that I wanted to get done.
But well, not all days can be hyper productive days.
I have been working as a co-producer in a show pilot, together with the director/writer, finishing the show and helping him take it to the next level.
Today we shot an interview for the EPK and it was awesome to listen to his story. Now, Jason, the director and creator, is a friend of mine, and I know him and have been hearing about this project for a long time. But today, it was the first time that I heard him speak about why he wrote this story, why it’s important to him, and why he wants everyone to see it, and what he wants them to feel.
Due Back is a story about a screen writer who works in a video store. Everything around him is nostalgic. Remember the last time you went to a video store to rent a movie?
At the end, every product, be it a movie, a pilot, a deodorant or a dry pasta, is better and closer to us when it has a story that we can connect to.
Those who know me, or who have read enough of what I write, know that I practice Tibetan Meditation, and that I study Dharma from the Tibetan Buddhist scriptures.
Today, I had to put together the first iteration of the wordpress site of the center where I study and guide meditation, The Three Jewels in New York City. I couldn’t do it until the end of the day, because my whole day was booked by one of my clients to work on the edit of some important videos. Still, but putting together the Three Jewels website was on my head almost all day.
With the mind on a powerful object (in this case the the Three Jewels) and the intention of doing something toward that object (making and updating the site), all the activities of the day had a subtle layer of spirituality covering them.
I should know this, but some lessons are reinforcements, and this is one of them: EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS PART OF YOUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICE. Whether you are Cristian, a Muslim, a Jew or a Buddhist, everything, even the completely material stuff in life, is spiritual, because we will always create and live experience from the spirit. Does that mean that everything has to be intense and deep? No! Our mind (or spirit) is connected to all the levels of existence, the deep powerful realizations and the subway commute. It is all spiritual, because spirituality is no separate from the rest of our life, it’s what makes the rest of our life.
Next week it’s the Super Bowl, and as football season reaches its final day, I am looking forward to have my sunday to myself. I know, I could just turn off the TV and not get caught on the game every sunday, but I really love watching football so I decide to spend my Sundays doing that.
Today I realize that it is not only football what grabs my sunday afternoons. My girlfriend and I watched yesterday the six final episodes of the first season of Dexter. Wow… that was 6 hours watching blood and serial killers and some twisted stuff!!!
And sometimes I wonder were I can take the time to do more stuff… well, cutting down on watching TV could be the #1 place…
I might start logging how much time I spend in useless activities to see how much time I can add to my productive life!
Today was a very good friends birthday party. My girlfriend and I went, and that would have been normal, but this time we knew my ex girlfriend was gonna be there. And I have not seen her for almost a year, and obviously my girlfriend was a little nervous because she didn’t really know what to expect. Obviously neither did I.
What I learned today: We all move on.
My ex has a great boyfriend now. And by the end of the night, in what seemed to be the very awkward moment, but turned into a great conversation, all four of us where standing in the middle of the room having a great conversation!
Honestly, I don’t know what the other party felt, but for me it was a relief, and for my girlfriend too. No drama, no problems, just four people, two of which have some story together, chatting it out at a friends party.
So yes, eventually, things move forward, people move on, and we keep living our lives as we want them!